Ross (1978)


“Wouldn’t it be fine just to believe, wouldn’t it be wonderful…if life were like a song…”

This is arguably the strangest entry into the Diana Ross Motown discography; it’s certainly a confusing album that has inspired much debate amongst fans and critics.  At heart of that debate is one single question:  “What is Ross?”  Is this a new studio album?  Is it a compilation?  Was this a calculated attempt at getting sales and hits…or was it simply a time-filler between Baby It’s Me and the release of The Wiz movie and soundtrack?

The issue here is the fact that the lineup includes new songs on Side A, but Side B is a collection of previously released, remixed songs and tracks from the vaults that had been recorded for other projects.  “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” for example, is included here — although it had been featured on Surrender in 1971, released as a…

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State Declassifies Documents on “Legendary Tony Poe” and his “Secret Army”


Tony Po from From Tony Poe from

The Department of State has declassified documents confirming the activities of Tony Poe, aka Anthony Poshepny, a CIA officer (cryptonym allegedly “UPIN,” cover allegedly “Air Operations Officer, Continental Air Services”) who conducted field operations in Thailand, Cambodia, and most prominently Laos from the 1950s to 1974.

Poe is frequently cited as a basis for Colonel Kurtz, Marlon Brando’s character in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, a CIA operative who –far removed from western influence– had “gone native” and was running his own army deep into the jungle of Indochina.  Though both Poe and Coppola denied that he was the basis for Kurtz,  the similarities are pronounced –and Poe was certainly one of the most remarkable, flamboyant, and grizzly operators employed by the CIA during American’s war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

According to John Prados’s must-read biography of Poe for Unredacted, Poe went to Laos in March…

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Russ Terrana – the most successful recording engineer of all time?

Sound Of The Hound

Russ Terrana was the Motown recording engineer who recorded and/or mixed down 89 US #1 records. Yep that’s right EIGHTY-NINE NUMBER ONE RECORDS!!!

He joined Motown in 1966 when the company bought the Golden World Studio in Detroit that Terrana was working for at the time – Motown were having so many hits that they needed the extra capacity. He worked for Motown until 1988 when Berry Gordy sold the company to Polygram who promptly closed the Hollywood Hitsville that Russ had moved to work at.

You can see the full list of all 89 #1’s here, including videos.

And Joe Klein writes a very detailed biography of Terrana’s career. And boy what a career. He must be the most successful recording guy of all time? Well, do you know anybody with more hits?

This is one of them:

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GR-R-R-R: Supremes “Roar” in Billboard (5/18/65)


They say May weather either acts like a lion or a lamb…but back in 1965, three “tigers” were bringing plenty of sunshine to the airwaves.

This is a great full-page ad from the May 18, 1965 issue of Billboard, promoting the initial five album releases by The Supremes and their then-latest single, “Back In My Arms Again” (which would show up on their sixth album, More Hits By The Supremes).  The single would go on to become the group’s fifth consecutive #1 pop hit, and their very first #1 on the R&B chart.

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INTERVIEW: Louvain Demps on Good Day Atlanta


Sometimes the most magical moments in life happen by accident; Louvain Demps of The Andantes remembers that being the case while recording “Love Child” in September of 1968.  As she recalls, there came a moment when groupmates Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks forget to sing a note, while Demps wailed it with all her heart.  Before they could do it again, she says Berry Gordy yelled, “I love it!”  And thus, Louvain Demps got her famous “solo scream” on one of the biggest hits in Motown history.

I was honored to sit down and chat with 79-year-old Louvain Demps for a two-part profile on Good Day Atlanta.  Not only was she gifted with one of the sweetest voices in soul music, she’s also a beautiful, genuine spirit who lights up when talking about the early days of Hitsville.  It’s no secret anymore that The Andantes were a major element of the…

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Diana Ross And The Supremes


 Diana Ross And The Supremes

Diana Ross – circa 1966

 “I’m the greatest star / I am by far / But nobody knows it” – ‘I’m the Greatest Star’ (Julie Styne, Bob Merrill)

The answer is ‘no’.  Berry Gordy, the head of Motown Records, considers the teenage girls in front of him.  Naturally, they are disappointed.  The year is 1960 and the girls, with stars in their eyes, had hoped to join the stable of recording artists on the up-and-coming Motown label.  Gordy’s advice to the young hopefuls is to finish high school and then come back and see him again.  Probably no one In the room could predict that these giggly and immature school girls are fated to become the biggest success of Motown, Diana Ross And The Supremes.

Diana Ross is born Diane Ernestine Ross on 26 March 1944 in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.  Due to a…

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Brief Descriptive Theoretical History of the Knights Templar Order

Source: Brief Descriptive Theoretical History of the Knights Templar Order

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